IVORY SILK is taken to land the opener, while both Sands Crooner and Fast Freddie will be popular with punters. The selection was a 6f winner here in August and has not run badly in defeat on his last two starts after going up 5lb. He has a decent draw here, is related to sprinting winners, and the first-time headgear can sharpen up his act enough to win. Sands Crooner is a 5f specialist and is respected. He won at Wolverhampton last week but is penalised here and does not make as much appeal. Fast Freddie is another shouldering a penalty after a good win at Dunstall Park on Saturday and he'd have to produce a lifetime best to defy the extra burden, though he is not ruled out. Doubtful Sound was a 6f Wolverhampton scorer last month and went well from 2lb higher here last time. He is now back below that winning mark and has to be taken very seriously. Silvanus is another below his last winning mark and is weighted to finish ahead of Sands Crooner here so he should be bang there come the business end, but we're going to chance Ivory Silk in the opener.
Sands Crooner (IRE) 10-1 (9-4) Slowly into stride, in rear, headway over 1f out, ran on well inside final furlong to lead last stride, won at W'hampton 5f hcp 0-75 (5) pol beating Cayman Fox (8-12) by a shd, 12 ran.
Playful 10-1 (8-13) In touch, keen, ridden 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 9th of 10, 7l behind Dvinsky (8-11) at Kempton 6f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Oct.
Ivory Silk 11-4 (8-8) In touch, soon lost place, headway over 1f out, stayed on final furlong, never on terms, 4th of 11, 3l behind Brazilian Brush (8-8) at Great Leighs 6f clm (6) pol in Oct.
Northern Empire (IRE) 16-1 (8-4) Held up, ridden halfway, no impression, 8th of 9, 14l behind Irish Pearl (9-2) at Southwell 6f hcp 0-95 (3) fbs.
Silvanus (IRE) 9-1 (9-1) Held up towards rear, raced keenly, headway when not much room 2f out, switched left over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 3rd of 12, 3/4l behind Sands Crooner (9-4) at W'hampton 5f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Ten Down 8-1 (8-13) Raced alone and overall leader in centre until hung right and headed approaching 2f out, soon weakened, 8th of 9, 12l behind Barraland (9-5) at Folkestone 5f 3yo hcp (5) gf in Aug.
Magical Speedfit (IRE) 22-1 (9-1) Towards rear, headway over 3f out, ridden to chase leaders 2f out, kept on, 4th of 11, 2 1/2l behind Resplendent Alpha (9-2) at Kempton 6f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Fast Freddie 7-2 (9-0) Soon led, ridden clear over 1f out, ran on well, won at W'hampton 5f hcp 0-70 (5) pol beating Mayoman (9-1) by 4l, 9 ran.
Doubtful Sound (USA) 6-1 (9-0) Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, every chance when rider dropped whip inside final furlong, 2nd of 14, hd behind Bazguy (9-3) at Great Leighs 6f sll (6) pol.
Gold Express 8-1 (8-0) Steadied start, held up and always in rear, 14th of 16, 12l behind Judge 'n Jury (9-0) at Ascot 5f app hcp (4) gs in Oct.
Billy Red 6-1 (9-1) Led, ridden, hung badly right and headed over 1f out, no extra final furlong, 4th of 12, 2l behind Fizzlephut (8-9) at Great Leighs 5f hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Blakeshall Diamond 22-1 (9-0) Behind, ridden over 2f out, soon no impression, 7th of 9, 6l behind Wreningham (8-7) at Great Leighs 5f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Oct.